With the Avengers: Infinity War hype train barreling down the tracks, I’ve been a little worried that it’d overshadow the release of Black Panther, due to hit theatres in about a month and a half. A lot of people are keeping a close eye on how the film does because, aside from it being the earliest Marvel Studios release next year, it’s an African-American starring and directed blockbuster action movie, which is an unfairly rare occurrence.
Fans can breathe a sigh of relief though now that we have the film’s box office projections (courtesy of Box Office Pro). They’ve tipped it for a $100 million opening weekend, arguing that its release over Presidents’ Day weekend and the fact that it’s premiering during Black History month with some of the finest African-American actors in cinema should bolster its box office takings. On top of that, the marketing campaign’s tactic of targeting African-American audiences seems to be paying off, presumably hoping that they’ll see a similar effect to how Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman appealed to female audiences and Suicide Squad appealed to African-American/Hispanic audiences.
There are only a few negative factors standing in the way of Black Panther‘s success at the moment. Firstly, its social media game hasn’t been quite as white-hot as Wonder Woman‘s was and, simply, audiences might be getting a little fatigued of the Marvel Studios formula. Fortunately though, even on conservative estimates, analysts still put the pic as having a slightly bigger opening weekend than Doctor Strange and Ant-Man.
While it may be coming a little late, it’s nice that Marvel Studios have finally properly committed to an African-American superhero movie, and high concept Afro-futurism sadly isn’t something we get to see in blockbuster films too much. I know I’ll be there opening night for Black Panther – will you?